Bone marrow fat: Friend or foe in people with diabetes mellitus? Clinical Science

M. Santopaolo, Y. Gu, G. Spinetti, P. Madeddu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity put the adipocyte in the focus of huge medical interest. This review highlights a new topic in adipose tissue biology, namely the emerging pathogenic role of fat accumulation in bonemarrow (BM). Specifically, we summarize current knowledge about the origin and function of BM adipose tissue (BMAT), provide evidence for the association of excess BMAT with diabetes and related cardiovascular complications, and discuss potential therapeutic approaches to correct BMAT dysfunction. There is still a significant uncertainty about the origins and function of BMAT, although several subpopulations of stromal cells have been suggested to have an adipogenic propensity. BM adipocytes are higly plastic and have a distinctive capacity to secrete adipokines that exert local and endocrine functions. BM adiposity is abundant in elderly people and has therefore been interpreted as a component of the whole-body ageing process. BM senescence and BMAT accumulation has been also reported in patients and animal models with Type 2 diabetes, being more pronounced in those with ischaemic complications. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for excess and altered function of BMAT could lead to new treatments able to preserve whole-body homeostasis. © 2020 Portland Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1048
Number of pages18
JournalClin. Sci.
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • adipocytokine
  • advanced glycation end product receptor
  • inflammasome
  • microRNA
  • parathyroid hormone
  • fat
  • adipocyte
  • adipogenesis
  • adipose tissue
  • aging
  • beige adipose tissue
  • bone marrow
  • brown adipose tissue
  • caloric restriction
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cell dedifferentiation
  • cell differentiation
  • comorbidity
  • diabetes mellitus
  • diabetic patient
  • endocrine function
  • exercise
  • follow up
  • glycation
  • hematopoiesis
  • homeostasis
  • human
  • hyperinsulinemia
  • hypoxia
  • lipid storage
  • metabolic regulation
  • microangiopathy
  • neuropathy
  • non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • nonhuman
  • obesity
  • phenotype
  • priority journal
  • proadipocyte
  • Review
  • senescence
  • stroma cell
  • white adipose tissue
  • animal
  • genetics
  • metabolism
  • Adipocytes
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Fats
  • Humans


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